2011 was a great year for the NORML Women’s Alliance. The second week in January will mark the two year anniversary of its creation and our proven success in spreading awareness and outreach (as well as harnessing the overwhelming enthusiasm among like-minded women) has solidified the importance and effectiveness of the program. While the NORML Women’s Alliance is still in its infancy, it is evolving quickly into an effective platform (and forum) for women to speak out and support marijuana legalization. It’s a very exciting time to be a woman in the marijuana law reform movement.
The last twelve months saw a major increase in reach and support from around the country and the world. The Alliance is now active on three continents and in five countries. The Facebook page has more than 20,000 followers and reaches over 65,000 people a week. Over 15,000 supporters have signed up for our email list and almost 1,000 have signed up to volunteer. The NORML Women’s Alliance/SSDP Sister-to-Sister program has matched almost 500 women.
While the NORML Women’s Alliance had several achievements in 2011, we decided to highlight the top five. We’re going to take a look back at 2011 and then lay out the NWA’s major goals and objectives for 2012. We hope you plan to get involved in what is not only a historic turning point for the cause, but one of the most progressive and mainstream coalitions in the marijuana reform movement.
Women are arguably the moral fiber of our society and their support for this issue is pivotal in order to move public opinion forward enough to push our politicians to end marijuana prohibition. While female support continues to grow (an October 2011 Gallup Poll showed female support increase by five percentage points [46%] as compared to their poll one year earlier [41%]), it has yet to reach majority support. Furthermore, female support has consistently lagged some ten percentage points behind men. As representatives of the NORML Women’s Alliance, it is our goal to increase female support for marijuana legalization.
The general objectives for the achieving this goal in 2012 include empowering women to:
We plan on holding several outreach and fundraising events in 2012 to demonstrate that mothers, grandmothers, professional women and students all have a place within NORML, and within the marijuana reform movement. Another one of our objectives in 2012 is to create educational campaigns that address the diverse range of issues effected by marijuana prohibition that are important to women, and by targeting sub-groups within that demographic. Below you will find more information on how we plan to achieve our stated objectives, about upcoming events, and opportunities to get involved.
Structure and Outreach
The NORML Women’s Alliance has laid the foundation for greater outreach in 2012. A structure has been put in place where several women have volunteered to be regional coordinators. Regional Coordinators oversee Community Leaders* (based on their current location), and are responsible for taking on special outreach projects.
Current regional coordinators include:
(We are currently looking for a Mid-Atlantic regional coordinator. Please contact Sabrina Fendrick at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering for this position.)
*Community Leaders are responsible for organizing women in their local cities and counties. They are assisted by their regional coordinator, and are responsible for raising awareness and support for the NORML Women’s Alliance in their local communities. One of the main goals of the Community Leader is to hold 3 outreach events per quarter (one targeting seniors, one targeting minorities and one targeting youth).
Current Community Leaders include:
(Click here if you are interested in signing up as a community leader.)
Media and Public Relations
Another strategy to move public opinion forward is through dialogue with the media, and the development of sustained public education campaigns. Since its inception, the NORML Women’s Alliance has put forward a core group of national spokeswomen ready to interact with the public and the media on the important issue of marijuana legalization. The NORML Women’s Alliance has been featured and mentioned by several national and international media outlets including; The London Times, BBC, the Associated Press, Salon.com, NBC and more.
In order to increase awareness, the NWA is continuing to develop several print PSAs and educational ads, which we hope to publish in mainstream blogs and publications later this year. In order to make this effort possible, the Alliance is looking to raise the necessary funds to purchase ad space.
(Please consider supporting this educational outreach effort with a contribution to the Alliance by clicking here.)
CoalitionsStudents for Sensible Drug Policy
Sister-2-Sister: The NORML Women’s Alliance/SSDP female mentorship program is working to double the number of women that have been pared up (500 women already). The S2S program was established last year to retain female activists and develop a support network for sisters within the movement.Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Cops and Moms: The NORML Women’s Alliance has partnered with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) to develop a new project with a special focus on parenting and law enforcement. Stay tuned for updates.
Upcoming Events in 2012
**If you are interested in holding an event in your area please call 202-483-5500.
January 6: The Boston Pot Report will be hosting NWA day in honor of host (and New England Regional Coordinator) Cara Crabb-Burnam’s birthday. Tune in to hear a great lineup of female speakers.
February 10: Spring Fling 2012 Washington DC
Women will be the deciding factor in gaining a critical mass in favor of repealing marijuana prohibition. In order to reach out to more women, and continue to build a powerful coalition, the NORML Women's Alliance is looking to raise money to spread awareness in several different ways: